The Best Time of Year to Visit Torontoairport_transferbarbathtubbusiness_facilitieschild_activitieschildcareconnecting_roomcribsfree_wifigymhot_tubinternetkitchennon_smokingpetpoolresturantski_in_outski_shuttleski_storagesmoking_areaspastar

The Best Time of Year to Visit Toronto

Toronto Islands
Toronto Islands | © OTMPC
Toronto has plenty to offer visitors and locals throughout the year. It has a life of its own during the summer and turns into a winter wonderland in colder months. Fall is merry with colorful city life, and with spring comes the cherry blossoms and milder weather. Here is a month-by-month guide to this bustling metropolis.

January

Winter sports enthusiasts should make the most of Canada’s cold climate and the number of slopes close to Toronto by visiting in January. One of the best things about being in the city is that if you drive a couple of hours in any direction, there is a wealth of snowy scenery and nature. Within the metropolis itself, Toronto makes the most of winter by partying through it with many activities to liven things up. Catch a DJ-led skate night at Harbourfront Centre, and see the illuminations of the Toronto Light Festival in the Distillery District. Or check out the seasonal programming at Nathan Phillips Square.

Average temperature (High/Low): 0°C (32°F)/-7°C (19.4°F)

Average rainfall days: 9

Skiing in Ontario © OTMPC

February

Although the sub-zero temperatures are set to linger still, taste buds tend to appreciate this month as culinary food festival Winterlicious sweeps the city. The food scene in Toronto is quite remarkable, and during the early days of February, restaurants all over the city offer three-course prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus.

For foodies, this is a dream opportunity to eat their way through some of the city’s best restaurants at a fraction of the cost (menus are $18, $23, or $28 for lunch and $28, $38 or $48 for dinner)! Along with offering the chance to discover Toronto’s culinary scene at over 200 restaurants, Winterlicious also programs special foodie-themed events. Officially, the festival kicks off right at the end of January and continues well into the second week of February, ending just before Valentine’s Day and Family Day weekend.

Average temperature (High/Low): 0°C (32°F)/-7°C (19.4°F)

Average rainfall days: 8 days

Alo Restaurant © OTMPC / Destination Canada

March

Temperatures begin to thaw a little in March. However, the evenings (and days) are still chilly, so the trick is to dress in layers and bring your boots. Provided you’ve bundled up, exploring the city’s vibrant neighborhoods and recreational pastimes are enjoyable. It’s an excellent time to head to Allan Gardens Conservatory, a plant oasis in the heart of the city, for their spring flower bloom. St. Patrick’s Day is also a lot of fun in Toronto. Check out the annual parade, or head to one of the city’s Irish pubs.

Average temperature (High/Low): 5°C (41°F)/-2°C (28.4°F)

Average rainfall days: 7

Crown of Thorns, Allan Gardens Conservatory © Ryan / Flickr / Derivative from original

April

Toronto has plenty to look forward to in April—the number one thing on that list is temperatures above zero. The city’s locals are much livelier too, primarily because warmer weather means the odd day sipping drinks on a patio. On the cultural front, North America’s largest documentary festival, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, hits cinemas and theatres throughout the city and showcases thought-provoking documentaries from Canada and around the globe.

April is also an excellent opportunity to experience some of the local sports teams. If the Toronto Raptors have made it to the National Basketball Association’s East Conference playoffs, the city will be at fever pitch! Be prepared to drop a small fortune on tickets to see them play in person, or join the enthusiastic fan following at Jurassic Park in Maple Leaf Square. There’s also a chance to catch a game of hockey if the Toronto Maple Leafs are still in the running for the Stanely Cup, and even the Toronto Blue Jays begin their baseball season in April.

Average temperature (High/Low): 12°C (53.6°F)/4°C (39.2°F)

Average rainfall days: 8

DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors © Keith Allison / Flickr

May

If you’re visiting during the city’s short but sweet spring, it makes for a perfect moment to enjoy a walking tour (Tour Guys offer lots of freebies) and to eat and drink al fresco. Make a note of the Scotia Bank Contact Photography Festival, a month-long event that runs throughout May and presents over 1,000 local, national, and international photographs in more than 200 different venues all over the city. Doors Open Toronto is another notable event where local buildings of architectural significance are open to the public for free.

Locals make their way to High Park for cherry blossoms which tend to bloom in late April and at the beginning of May. This annual event brings the people out in droves and is one of the highlights of the year—don’t miss it if you’re in town. Victoria Day, a Canadian national holiday, also falls during this month on the Monday before May 25th each year and is usually the unofficial start of BBQ season! Many locals tend to hit cottages over the long weekend, but plenty stay in town and take advantage of the city’s rooftop bars and restaurants.

Average temperature (High/Low): 19°C (66.2°F)/10°C (50°F)

Average rainfall days: 7

Cherry blossoms in High Park © Tibor Kovacs / Flickr

June

June is the city’s high travel season. Apart from the unarguable arrival of hot weather, Pride Toronto takes over the city. The metropolis is home to Canada’s largest LGBTQ population and hosts one of the largest Pride festivals in North America as 22 blocks are closed off to traffic. Since 2016, the entire month of June has been declared Pride. The festivities and parades attract thousands of visitors, including the country’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. To fully experience this month-long cultural event, head to the Church-Wellesley Village, the official stomping ground of Toronto’s LGBTQ community. Other highlights in June include Luminato, a week-long celebration of music, film, art, literature, and creativity, and the start of seasonal Shakespeare in High Park.

Average temperature (High/Low): 24°C (75.2°F)/15°C (59°F)

Average rainfall days: 8

Toronto's vibrant street culture during Pride Month © Stacie DaPonte / Flickr

July

By now the summer is in full swing. The city’s top attractions will be busy, so consider buying a city pass to save you money and time in queues. Toronto will be crowded and hot, but you won’t regret being here, especially with all that there is to do. Summerlicious paves the way for foodies to eat themselves into a stupor, and Caribana kicks off. Also, Toronto’s most substantial theatre festival, Fringe of Toronto Theatre Festival, hits the stage. Take the short ferry crossing to the Toronto Islands or visit vineyards closeby at Niagara-on-the-Lake. The end of July ushers in the Toronto Beaches International Jazz Festival in one of the city’s coolest neighborhoods.

Average temperature (High/Low): 27°C (80.6°F)/18°C (64.4°F)

Average rainfall days: 7

Trinity Bellwoods Park © OTMPC

August

Alongside jaunts to attractions, outdoor activities and lakeside fun, this is a vibrant month to experience the cultural diversity for which Toronto is renowned. As Caribana festivities continue throughout the first half of August, Danforth Avenue blocks off traffic for one of the biggest multicultural street parties of the year! Taste of the Danforth celebrates Greek and Hellenic heritage as well as cuisine and culture from the rest of the world. In other parts of the city, daring street performers, dancers and magicians will inspire and amaze you at BuskerFest.

From around mid-August through to Labour Day weekend at the beginning of September, you can also catch the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE). This fun community event has been going strong since 1879 and is one of the largest annual fairs in Canada. Arrive hungry because the food is wacky and off the charts!

Average temperature (High/Low): 26°C (78.8°F)/18°C (64.4°F)

Average rainfall days: 6 days

Caribana Festival in Toronto © OTMPC

September

September is a wonderful time to visit Toronto. The weather is a dreamy kind of warm, and the crowds are a little calmer. It’s also a great time to do some celebrity people-watching; during the second week of September, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) brings some of the world’s best movies and film stars to the city. This globally renowned film festival sees scores of visitors and locals out on the streets, trying to get shots of their favorite A-Listers or queuing up in lines around blocks for opening nights of movies.

Nuit Blanche also falls right at the end of September, and sometimes right at the beginning of October, depending on the date and weekend. For one night, this notorious outdoor art exhibition takes over the streets from dusk till dawn and features some spectacular contemporary art, from installations to interactive experiences.

Average temperature (High/Low): 23°C (73.4°F)/14°C (57.2°F)

Average rainfall days: 6

Kate Winslet at the Toronto International Film Festival, 2017 © GabboT / Flickr

October

October is a special time to be in the city. The weather is still beautiful enough to enjoy lots of outdoor activities while wearing a couple of light layers. Although the leaves start to turn from green to orange, yellow and red from mid-September onwards, October is the month to see fall colors in all of their glory. There are plenty of spots around the city and Greater Toronto Area where you can see foliage ablaze with fiery colors, but Don Valley, Rouge Park, Humber Valley and High Park are prime destinations. The second Monday of the month is Thanksgiving, and the city also celebrates Halloween on the 31st.

Average temperature (High/Low): 15°C (59°F)/8°C (46.4°F)

Average rainfall days: 8

Fall colors in High Park © Umair Khan / Flickr

November

If you like to travel in the off-season and love a sweet travel deal, even though the temperatures will have started to drop, November is still a lovely time to be in Toronto. You may catch the last of the fall foliage and the beginning of ice skating season, and the weather will be comfortable for hiking and a host of other outdoor activities. By the end of the month, the city will be glittering with Christmas lights and the stylish festive displays of large department stores, and it’s always worth joining the crowds for the annual Santa Claus Parade and Cavalcade of Lights at Nathan Phillips Square.

Average temperature (High/Low): 9°C (48.2°F)/2°C (35.6°F)

Average rainfall days: 8

Iceskating at Nathan Phillips Square © Benson Kua / Flickr

December

As the snow arrives and the festive season picks up, Toronto becomes a cosmopolitan winter wonderland. Excluding the holiday week, this month offers visitors some of the best deals for airfare and hotel bargains. You can experience lots of outdoor winter festivals, indoor activities and the start of ski season. Experience holiday magic at one of the top festive markets in the city’s historic Distillery District, an old-fashioned Christmas at Black Creek Pioneer Village, and find perfect presents at the One of a Kind Christmas Show.

Average temperature (High/Low): 3° (37.4°F)/-3°C (26.6°F)

Average rainfall days: 9

Festive Treats © Toronto Christmas Market